Victor Davis Hanson
Some truths are so staggering in their ramifications that Americans simply shrug and tune them out as if strangers in a strange land.
Is their current bewilderment because modernist America is unrecognizable —a nonexistent border, downtown homeless juxtaposed to hipster professional elites, DEI racial essentialism, cities reverting to precivilizational wastelands, millions exiting blue states to red, an FBI and DOJ gone rogue, the normalization of violent theft and assault, biologically born men sandbagging women’s sports and their locker room privacy?
We are reaching the point where the once unbelievable has become the banal, as a single generation has done its best to undo the work of a prior 12 generations. Consider the following:
Three leftwing prosecutors are criminalizing politics with more than 90 simultaneous indictments of Donald Trump, the ex-president and currently the leading Republican primary candidate. While New York prosecutor Letitia James is hounding Trump with a $250 million state lawsuit against the Trump organization and family, on the pretense of supposedly Trump overvaluing his real estate and filing inaccurate financial statements.
Is there any Mafia don, mass murderer, or terrorist who has faced so many indictments or suits in so many jurisdictions at almost the same time?
The prosecutors’ immediate lawfare agendas seem transparent enough. They wish to bankrupt candidate Trump with endless legal costs, and humiliate him with his mugshot blasted over the Internet, and put endless Lilliputian legal ropes over a shackled candidate Gulliver, and inflate the ego and agendas of local prosecutors, and purportedly earn Trump empathy enough to win the nomination only to be hemorrhaged with still more indictments, gag orders, and court appearances to bleed him out in the general election.
Americans ask themselves questions whose answers are never given. Why are all these Trump prosecutors leftwing or with Democratic connections?
Would any of the 90 something indictments for “crimes” of years past have been lodged against a citizen Trump who had retired from politics?
Why are these indictments of alleged wrongdoing of years ago now in summer 2023 suddenly both being synchronized in leftwing jurisdictions of New York, Washington, Miami, and Atlanta with the beginning of the 2024 election cycle?
Are any of the indictments against Trump also applicable to others?
Alvin Bragg’s charge of campaign finance violations (Hillary Clinton, 2016)?
Jack Smith’s allegations of encouraging mass civil unrest (Kamala Harris, 2020)?
Illegally removing and possessing classified federal documents (Joe Biden 2009-2022)?
Letitia James’s lawsuit alleging financial irregularities and fraud (Al Sharpton 2009-2014)?
Fani Willis’s claim that Trump was seeking to sabotage the constitutional duties of state electors (Martin Sheen, and an array of B-list Hollywood actors, 2016) and colluding to interfere with an election (Fani Willis 2003-4)?
Will any losing Republican candidate in a contested election any longer question the integrity of questionable balloting—in the manner of Vice President Al Gore in 2000, Sen. Barbara Boxer and 32 Democratic congressional representatives in 2004, candidate Jill Stein or Hillary Clinton in 2016, or Stacey Abrams 2018—and thereby risk financially and career-crimpling indictments?
Will conservative district attorneys in places like Wyoming, Alabama, or West Virginia now seek to indict a Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, or Gavin Newsom to earn notoriety, to weaken the opposing party, and to leapfrog to higher office in the manner that we should expect a Fani Willis or Alvin Bragg to be currently planning?
When Republicans retake the Congress and White House, will they begin indicting all the weaponized prosecutors who colluded to exempt a grifting Hunter Biden for five years? Will they try Joe Biden as a private citizen for his prior corruption over the last 15 years?
Why would Donald Trump believe the 2020 election was “rigged?” Was he cribbing that belief from liberal journalist Molly Ball’s braggadocious 2021 Time essay? After all, she outlined what she called a leftwing “cabal” and “conspiracy” to change voting laws, turn on/turn off the 2020 Antifa/BLM street protests, absorb the work of registrars, and suppress unwelcome social media news.
Was it more morally suspect to question the ethics surrounding the election year 2020 or for Mark Zuckerberg to infuse $419 million to absorb in asymmetrical fashion the work of the registrars in key swing precincts?
A Cardboard Cutout President
We are witnessing the daily deterioration of President Biden to the point that caricature and jokes about his senility are no longer funny. He is not just an embarrassment but becoming an existential danger to the country. Does anyone believe that in a national crisis over Taiwan or nuclear escalation in Ukraine, Joe Biden would or could make the final decision?
Biden cannot finish a teleprompter sentence without slurring his words, losing his place, or screaming and whispering in incoherent fashion. If that is his public persona, what he is like in private sessions of governance?
He spontaneously both shouts angrily and creepily whispers for effect. Moving a lightweight aluminum beach chair becomes a Herculean task.
In almost every impromptu speech Biden flat-out lies or spins self-serving autobiographical fantasies—often in the midst of foreign dignitaries, grieving families, and refugees from devastating natural disasters.
Biden often does not know where he is on stage or where he is to enter or exit. He is one fall from oblivion.
Not since Woodrow Wilson’s final year in office, has any president simply been unable to fulfill his duties, both physically and cognitively.
Or perhaps the country is in the same position as when an ailing Franklin Roosevelt in late 1944 was deemed just hale enough to get elected and continue Democratic control of the White House, but deemed not healthy enough to finish his first year in office—necessitating the rapid removal from the ticket of the socialist Vice President—and an otherwise likely 1945 President—Henry Wallace.
Yet there has been almost no serious speculation in Congress or among the cabinet about invoking the 25th Amendment. This silence is doubly strange given the Left’s former fixation between 2017-21 with removing Trump by any means possible—including invoking the 25th Amendment.
That silly effort led to the surreal—the acting FBI director Andrew McCabe and the deputy attorney general Rod J. Rosenstein scheming to wiretap Trump in private conversations to reveal his supposed craziness–or the Congress dragging in an incompetent Yale psychiatrist to testify that at a distance she had diagnosed Trump as demented.
Do we recall ex-Pentagon officials and officers talking openly about a military coup to remove the supposedly touched commander in chief?
Our Chairman of the Joint Chiefs contacted the head of the People’s Liberation Army to warn him that Trump might be unhinged. So is Gen. Mark Milley now making yet another call to Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army to warn him that Joe Biden is dangerously disturbed?
It is precisely that entire cast of characters who now sit mum as Joe Biden believes we are fighting in Iraq against the Russians or that his late son Beau was killed in action in Iraq, or it is impossible to square the tens of millions of dollars that flowed from abroad to the Biden accounts with any concrete expertise rendered or income reported as taxable.
Is the tolerance of Biden’s senescence because his blank stares and mental confusion prove useful to the Left by exempting the president from offering any defense of his mostly defenseless policies or defending his absurd claims to know nothing of the Biden family grifting operations that were predicated on his own offices?
Or do the puppeteers, the Obamas, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and the hard leftists of the party find a non-compos mentis Biden mannequin a useful veneer in pushing through their extreme agendas? Or does the media call the shots, especially after they propelled a basement bound Biden to the White House?
There have been a few corrupt presidents in our past, who (as in the case of Lyndon Johnson) left office far richer than when they entered or were surrounded by rogues (Grant and Harding) or were masters of leveraging and grifting long-term contracts and networks in their lame duck tenures to ensure their impending multimillionaire status the day they left office (the Clintons and Obamas).
But never in memory has an entire extended presidential family been involved in selling influence for millions of dollars in quid pro quo lucre—the vast majority of such ill-gotten gains likely untaxed, by being channeled through sham companies, foreign deposits, fake names and alias email accounts.
Never has a corrupt presidential family itself offered so much proof of its own guilt. Do the Democrats have any idea of the smelly Biden albatross hanging about their collective necks?
How much longer can they continue to dismiss the communications on the Hunter Biden laptop?
Or the testimonies of IRS whistleblowers?
Or the assertions of Biden family business associates?
Or the statements of relevant Ukrainian oligarchs?
Or the latest assertions of Viktor Shokin?
Or the extraordinary efforts of the Bidens to stonewall subpoenaed documents, use fake names and shadow email accounts, compromise federal prosecutors, appoint sham special counsels, and use media toadies to the point of embarrassment to hide the ugly truth?
In sum, what were the Bidens so afraid of that prompted them to corrupt the DOJ and FBI to stonewall any discussion of the huge cash infusions that came from abroad into their family coffers?
Americans have impeached or nearly impeached presidents before for abuse of power, lying under oath, or supposedly using government to pursue their own personal agendas or harass their enemies.
But never has a president been so clearly compromised by bribery from shady foreign government-related grandees in expectation of favorable treatment.
In other words, there is growing evidence that Joe and Hunter Biden, and likely Jim Biden as well, made millions of dollars on the hopes that then Vice President Biden, and perhaps one day a future president Biden, would alter or compromise U.S. foreign policy on the expectation of getting rich.
The State Department’s Ukraine team deemed Viktor Shokin making progress in rooting out corruption. So why did Joe Biden without consultation fire him? Did Biden put his own financial interests above the country’s—in a fashion that the Founders worried was impeachable “treason?”
If the current investigations are not halted or compromised, we may soon learn why the Constitution explicitly specified bribery and treason as an ironclad cause for impeachment.
Can Americans even comprehend that they have elected a dishonest man to the presidency who is protected by his own senility, his decades-long everyman construct of ol’ Joe Biden from Scranton, his usefulness as a prop to the radical leftwing agenda, and the defensive and offensive weaponization of the criminal justice system?
Can Americans digest that instead of campaigning against Donald Trump, outdebating him, outspending him, and outfoxing him, their government must unleash kindred prosecutors to destroy Trump by blowing up the entire tradition of blind American jurisprudence?
Are the media and left claiming that to save the rule of law from Trump, they must first destroy it?